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Posted at 2:21 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Pot charges dropped in Arenstein case

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post editors

A judge dismissed drug possession charges today against CBS Radio News correspodent Howard l. Arenstein, 60 and his wife, Israeli newspaper journalist Orly (Azoulay) Katz, 57.

At a hearing before D.C. Magistrate Judge Kimberley S. Knowles, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathy Sawyers told the judge that a government witness who was scheduled to testify in the case, was not present.

Attorneys for Arenstein and Katz then asked the judge to dismiss the case. Knowles agreed to dismiss the case, but told Arenstein and Katz that prosecutors could still call the case in the future.

The couple was arrested on Oct. 1 for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. According to charging documents, police received an anonymous tip that the couple, who reside in Georgetown in the 3500 block of T. St. NW, were growing marijuana plants in their backyard.

[This post has been updated.]

By Keith L. Alexander  | November 16, 2010; 2:21 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, From the Courthouse, Keith L. Alexander, Narcotics, The District  
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Comments

Wow...oddly convenient that if you are white...and jewish...you can do whatever you want to in this country...and you can have key government witnesses not show up to your hearing.

Can someone please explain how these two white jewish people can grow marijuana in their yard...and now nothing happens to them.

The white, jewish and rich get richer and richer, while the black and browns get pooer and pooer. I thought this was America...and this is just a reminder to us all that this is INDEED America - land of inequality.

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

You got to be kidding???? They say bad news comes in threes. 1.The Eagles whipping the Skins like they owned child support & then this crap. what's next Jack johnson is found NOT GUILTY !!

Posted by: Raidersfan2 | November 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

and oh yeah...I will be changing my last name and adding 'stein' to the very end of it...and then I will be growing marijuana in my back yard...I have to wonder if my black skin or the fact that I dont live in Georgetown will result in the key government witness not showing up to my hearing???

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The key witnesses must have been the policemen or detectives who investigated the tip and arrested the suspects. Why didn't they show up???

Posted by: droberts57 | November 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It really has nothing to do with race my friend, it DOES have everything to do with the DC court system (who should have MADE it so that witness had to show or postpone the hearing) and it has everything to do with how expensive your property is (taxes) and how much clout you have (as a reporter this guy can expose a whole slew of stuff in his spare time) It's more of an elitist thing get it?

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

fedupwithbs

You knew two white, never mind Jewish prominent people from G-Town was not going to jail for weed. They were waiting for any excuse they could get to cut these two loose. Look for the charges on the G-Town students to get dropped as well. People dont feel safer when they see white people going to jail, they feel safer when its minorities. As for those who like to use statistics to justify their prejudices and stereotypes, this is one of the reasons why there are a higher percentage of black men in jail than others. When you are always the primary target and always more likely to get convicted than any white person what do you expect? You think these people would have ever been searched during a routine traffic stop like a black person does? They had weed growing openly in their yard and still wont get convicted of anything. You got black people doing six months in jail for a ounce of weed found on them during a traffic stop. Remember that when the next smart ass white person tries to use prison statistics to justify their stereotyping.

Posted by: ged0386 | November 16, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Figures. White people are allowed to break the law.

Posted by: Special_One40 | November 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Elitism and Racism go hand in hand. Arent the majority of elitist in this country white? Aren't the majority of those who attend elitist educational institutions (the Harvards and Yales) in this country white?...and these institutions also have a high proportion of jewish students.

I can't put an SS on my sleeve bc I'm black and the hatred of the SS is a pureley white German entity...next.

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

gures. White people are allowed to break the law.

Posted by: Special_One40

================

Not true! O.J. got away with 2 murders (before he was finally put in jail for other crimes).

Look, fedupwithbs, be real: It's not that they are white or Jewish (talk about black people throwing bigotry!)....they are rich. And rich people never do the time. They have lawyers. Good lawyers.

Posted by: B-rod | November 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Money talks.

Posted by: keithrjackson | November 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow...thats pretty astounding and ridiculous. Just goes to prove that money talks in the legal world, although we all knew it to be true.

They were growing it, had literally plants in their back yard and nada...nothing. No fine, no community service, nothing.

I say this as a old white GT resident myself, had this been in some black families back yard in SE, they would have gotten years in the clink.

Ridiculous

Posted by: Nosh1 | November 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Did I really just read the words OJ in reference to any sort of rebuttal to white racial privelege in this country? OJ? Are you serious...Damn, OJ is the rebuttal to my race agrument. You win...that's comical too me...

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Did I really just read the words OJ in reference to any sort of rebuttal to white racial privelege in this country? OJ? Are you serious...Damn, OJ is the rebuttal to my race agrument. You win...that's comical too me...

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Did I really just read the words OJ in reference to any sort of rebuttal to white racial privelege in this country? OJ? Are you serious...Damn, OJ is the rebuttal to my race agrument. You win...that's comical too me...

Posted by: fedupwithbs | November 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

WOw....just Wow...

Half of DC Jail, which is 95%+ BLACK, are in jail due to some sort of marijuana possesion or testing positive for marijuana while on probation/parole....

When the government's witness doesn't show up, the judge ALWAYS...repeat...ALWAYS adjourns and reschedules a few times, if not MANY times before the idea of dismissing a case is allowed by the Judge and prosecuters.

And they say it doesn't mean anything to be White AND Jewish in this world......

And these people....were growing multiple plants and already had weed prepared for distribution to their 'clients'....

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Geez....

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | November 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Cursory parsing of the article and comments, I can understand why most of you are jealous of people that are smart enough to keep out of jail...

Posted by: jeeemusna | November 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse


their "clients" were probably their friends.

if i grew weed, i'd share it with my friends, too.

obviously the snitch wasn't a friend, and maybe they were a just a pissed off neighbor seeking retaliation for having been caught not scooping their dog's poop off the arensteins' lawn.

Posted by: potomacfever00 | November 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This really does smack of unequal treatment. There are no if, ands or buts about it. These people were literally growing the stuff in their yard. They didn't need the informant. You mean they couldn't find a cop to testify that he saw 8 foot tall pot plants in the yard? Give me a break!!

Posted by: PepperDr | November 16, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

As with those who want to throw the book at everyone from Lohan to Bush, comments on this will focus on Howard Arenstein and his wife Orly Katz, simply because he is associated with WTOP and, well, Howard & Orly are connected but not priviledged as some assert. As for this:

Wow...oddly convenient that if you are white...and jewish...you can do whatever you want to in this country...and you can have key government witnesses not show up to your hearing.

Can someone please explain how these two white jewish people can grow marijuana in their yard...and now nothing happens to them.

"The white, jewish and rich get richer and richer, while the black and browns get pooer and pooer. I thought this was America...and this is just a reminder to us all that this is INDEED America - land of inequality."

I wish either Courtland Milloy or Colbert King would stick to writing silly columns and stay off the comments section.


But the real question is about this:

"At the time of the pair's arrest in October, police spokesman Lt. Nicholas Breul said officers were called to the couple's home in response to a complaint of marijuana growing in their backyard. The government could still refile charges in the case."

What I wanna know: what swingingdick made the original "complaint" in the first place? I mean shouldn't this person be a "hero" to everyone saved from Arnstein & Katz's scheme to "distribute" marijuana to our children? Ain't this person PROUD of what they have done? I would love to know their name & address so that I can congratulate them in person. And maybe Howie & Orly can help me....

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | November 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Why is it so hard for people to distinguish between money and race? These people have the resources to help them out of a jam, while others lack those resources - its about the resources available to those that can afford it and those who cannot - OJ proved that.

Our judicial system is color blind, it only sees green.

Posted by: BriBonano | November 16, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm white, and after reading all these posts and now understanding how I can't go to jail I'm going to go commit a crime. All these years I worked, not knowing that because I'm white I could have just done whatever I wanted.

Posted by: gpl2411 | November 16, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

gpl2411 when you commit your crime with your "white get out jail free" card, would you mind picking me up a bag of weed?

Posted by: grobinette | November 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

It comical hearing how white pople get away with everything. Stereotyping is just one step away from racism.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | November 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I think the reason they dropped the charges is because putting an educated elderly couple in jail over cannabis doesn't fit with the meme of pot smokers as being drug-addled wastrels who are just about to turn to heroin any day now... People might question things and say, 'gosh, that doesn't seem right to do to that nice old couple... Maybe this stuff should be decriminalized...'

I don't think it has anything to due with religion or race - do you think Cornell West would have been put in jail over a plant in his backyard? No way. So, think before you race-bait please.

Posted by: UNLISTED | November 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

You do wonder whether a non-"prominent" person of African ancestry would be given the same kid-glove treatment for the same offense.

Posted by: JohnRice | November 16, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

good for them, anyone charged with weed possession should be set free! the war on drugs, especially as it pertains to marijuana, is a monumental waste of time and resources for somethng that is not as harmful as a beer or cigarette. and, contrary to popular belief, I've never met a single weed smoker, out of thousands, that ever said it lead them to harder drugs, not one!

Posted by: wpost36 | November 16, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. West is a friend of mine and he may or may not have been put in jail for the same crime. But before playing the race game, remember Mr. West is married to a white woman. So do not go there

Posted by: msdooby1 | November 16, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I like posting my opinion on Washingtonpost.com to get things I always think to myself off of my chest.

Posted by: mstov | November 16, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Homeboy would be in jail fo' sho'!

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 16, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

This business about charging ANYBODY growing ANY amount of pot with intent to distribute is a joke. If I've got two plants in my back yard and the cops find them, it's an automatic "intent to distribute" charge. I guess they would accuse me of intending to sell it by the joint.

Posted by: st50taw | November 16, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Prohibition has left America ignorant of the most logical solution to a number of problems...medicinal, industrial, chemical, agricultural, ecological, commercial...

http://www.facebook.com/free.the.leaf

Posted by: freetheleaf | November 16, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Everyone uses whatever resources they can muster to skate.

I believe the DEA nabbed them with a satellite image that was then processed by image analysis software to snag a pot plant anywhere on earth.

CBS began a huge investigative piece on how it works and what its weaknesses are. Then the MPD failed to show in court, and the rednecks turning back the odometer on used cars bumped the story from the CBS lineup.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 16, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

This certainly smacks of a double standard. If a law doesn't make sense for the well connected, it doesn't make sense for anyone.

Posted by: vmax02rider | November 16, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Damn! I'm white and Jewish and they STILL put me in jail for marijuana possession. My local constabulary must not have gotten the memo. It might have helped if I were affluent and a member of the Fourth Estate.

As a Jew, I'm always to blame for all of the world's problems. It's not fair that I don't get any of the perks.

Posted by: Buzzby | November 16, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I think we should wait to see what Lenny Kravitz thinks about the situation.

Posted by: mstov | November 16, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Lots of prominent well to do blacks in jail on drug charges, very, very few whites. Race trumps money in most cases. But money plays a role too. Judge should have recognized this and locked their monkey asses up? Hell I'll be a witness I saw the plants in their back yard on the news. Can I testify?

Posted by: madstamina | November 16, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, did anyone leave a stinking flaming bag of poop on the doorstep of his neighbor/snitch?

Posted by: johng1 | November 16, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

It’s funny to me that white people still bring up OJ. Is that when many of you lost faith your judicial system. I remember when this story broke. After I saw them, I knew they wouldn’t do any time. I know money talks, but race still matters.

Posted by: letsgetreal | November 16, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

keithrjackson
money does more then just talk,it screams.!!!

Posted by: merrimac238 | November 17, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute police find marijuana plants in their backyard and they need a witness to prosecute them? If I'm stop in my car and police find marijuana in my car they don't need a witness to prosecute me. So what is the primary factor for the dismissal? That they were white, or Jewish, or that they lived in Georgetown?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | November 17, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I've read enough. I think it's bout time to remove the chip off the shoulder. Stop blaming every white and Jewish person for what ails your community. This is out and out bigotry. If what you say is true, why isn't Bernie Madoff sunning himself at his $30 million home in Palm Beach instead of sitting in jail? And where is Jack Abramhoff today? I assure you he is not back at his former job after spending 3 plus years in prison.

Posted by: TheSenator55 | November 17, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

no one should be arrested or charged for growing a couple pot plants in their yard.

LET ALL OF MY PEOPLE GO!

Posted by: MarilynManson | November 17, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

No one, white, black, or Jewish should go to jail for a couple pot plants. Maybe, like almost everyone with a lawyer, a job, and no prior arrests, they got it easy on the first time. Also no guns, no violence, not in a stolen car, etc.

Posted by: rjregan | November 17, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If what you say is true, why isn't Bernie Madoff sunning himself at his $30 million home in Palm Beach instead of sitting in jail? And where is Jack Abramhoff today? I assure you he is not back at his former job after spending 3 plus years in prison.

Posted by: TheSenator55 | November 17, 2010 8:27 AM

Because he ripped off his own people. It is very unheard of for a Jew to rip off Jews....they usually go to other communities to do stuff like that...........STAMPED.


These folks got off because of race and money. Plain and simple. And all people want to do is kill the messenger......

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of the White Jewish Cult That Rules The World (WJCTRTW), I would like to say, yes, of course, this is yet another victory for WJCTRTW, which does indeed rule the world, as we rule all of the world's countries, all of the world's businesses, all of the world's trade and commerce, and all of the world's militaries, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, public safety agencies, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Masons, the Illuminati, Interpol, and the Trilateral Commission. Oh, and all of show business and the media, too. Yes, the dismissal of charges on a minor pot charge for some D.C. resident because a major witness bagged out of testifying is definately, assuredly, positively and completely an indication, a fact, and proof that our web of deceit to rule the world is indeed working!! Ah, hahahahahaha!

Posted by: thefrontpage | November 17, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of the White Jewish Cult That Rules The World (WJCTRTW), I would like to say, yes, of course, this is yet another victory for WJCTRTW, which does indeed rule the world, as we rule all of the world's countries, all of the world's businesses, all of the world's trade and commerce, and all of the world's militaries, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, public safety agencies, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Masons, the Illuminati, Interpol, and the Trilateral Commission. Oh, and all of show business and the media, too. Yes, the dismissal of charges on a minor pot charge for some D.C. resident because a major witness bagged out of testifying is definately, assuredly, positively and completely an indication, a fact, and proof that our web of deceit to rule the world is indeed working!! Ah, hahahahahaha!

Posted by: thefrontpage | November 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of the White Jewish Cult That Rules The World (WJCTRTW), I would like to say, yes, of course, this is yet another victory for WJCTRTW, which does indeed rule the world, as we rule all of the world's countries, all of the world's businesses, all of the world's trade and commerce, and all of the world's militaries, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, public safety agencies, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Masons, the Illuminati, Interpol, and the Trilateral Commission. Oh, and all of show business and the media, too. Yes, the dismissal of charges on a minor pot charge for some D.C. resident because a major witness bagged out of testifying is definately, assuredly, positively and completely an indication, a fact, and proof that our web of deceit to rule the world is indeed working!! Ah, hahahahahaha!

Posted by: thefrontpage | November 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: thefrontpage | November 17, 2010 11:45 AM

Thank you for admitting what we knew already.....

Now, can I join if I marry in?

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

how uplifting to see the rampant bigotry and anti-Semitism spewing from some of the small minds who've previously commented on this thread.

Hate much?

Posted by: fendertweed | November 17, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, you are missing the point. The point is, they have the marijuana plants in states evidence. And they NEVER dismiss a case because a witness didn't show up just once. The witness has to miss multiple court dates before the thought of dismissing the case was even thought of.

How much more 'Slam Dunk' could this case had been?

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 17, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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